Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Irma - Landing somewhere in Florida

The official forecast - right over Key West! Look at the wind strength, 185 mph!!

We like to spend February and March in Key West. The weather is nice and there're great places to eat and it's good for walking around for exercise. However, one of the models  (NHC) shows a direct hit on our favorite place to stay over winter! Now, Key West is not very high with the absolute highest peak being 18 ft! Most of Key West is far below that peak. Of course, we're concerned about the residents of Key West but we're also concerned about losing our winter home. We've taken over E14 for the last seven years and are looking forward to another year at that location, provided it's still there.
On the other hand, right up the middle of Florida?
So with that preamble, we take an intense interest in the path of Irma. Several of the models show Irma ripping straight up the middle of Florida but the NHC shows a Key West landfall. Adding to the suspense is the upgrading of the storm to a Cat 5 level although the latest projections show a weakening just before landfall down to a Cat 4 - if you can call that weakening.

Irma has shown some weakening since the last forecast (if you can call Cat 4 weaker)

The storm behind Irma now has a name, Jose. The models suggest that Jose will turn to the north and pass by Bermuda and so will be no danger to the continental US. If that remains the case, it might provide a window to get down the coast. So far, there's been no further developments off the coast of Africa. May it remain so.
Jose, out to sea?
Boat preparations remain apace. We have new vinyl glass, new batteries, new anchor chain (rust on the old chain), repairs to the water tank, three replacement thru-hulls, oil and fuel filter changes, and probably some things I've forgotten what with Irma occupying so much time. The dinghy still needs attention, it's 12 years old but still going strong although it does seep air a bit. Now it's watch and wait, it's been an active hurricane season!